Premier Jay Weatherill yesterday officially opened a planned 5.5 kilometre underground tunnel that will give the ability to access and mine one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits.
"If the detailed exploration is successful and the project is progressed it is expected to generate more than 1000 construction to production jobs in the next few years; with an anticipated mine life of over 20 years," said said Premier Weatherill.
"Copper built this State and discoveries like this mean this commodity, which we have in abundance in South Australia, can continue to contribute enormously to our economy."
"Our experts believe there are other large deposits out there waiting to be discovered, which is why we have provided a further $20 million in funding to the PACE program to expand the search for copper.
"This initial construction will benefit communities in the north of the state, through new jobs and opportunities for supply chain businesses.
"And if the project is progressed, the economic befits to the upper Spencer Gulf region and the state as a whole will be enormous."
The Carrapateena iron-oxide copper-gold deposit is located 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta, and was discovered in 2005 with the assistance of a State Government Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) collaborative drilling grant.
PYBAR, an underground mining services contractor, were awarded the project in July of this year.
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